ARCHDALE, N.C. — A Triad gym is helping one man get first aid supplies to his family and their village in Ukraine. 


What You Need To Know

A Triad man is collecting first-aid supplies for his cousins and friends living in Ukraine

Located in a village in the mountains, his cousins are caring for wounded refugees and soldiers

Iron Sharpens Iron Gym in Archdale is collecting donations


John Hrobuchak is proud of his Ukrainian heritage. His grandfather came to the United States in the early 1900s. Hrobuchak knew he had cousins in Ukraine but lost touch with them until recently.

“We lost connection for the longest time and just recently through Facebook and technology were able to reconnect and rekindle everything,” he said. 

When Hrobuchak heard about the Russian invasion in Ukraine, he reached out to his family and friends living there. After a few days of tense silence, they responded, requesting bandages, first aid kits and medicine. Hrobuchak’s family is assisting wounded refugees and soldiers in their small mountain village. 

“I didn’t hear back from them until Monday. And they finally reached out and said if you can round up bandages, first aid kits, medicines, anything that will help the wounded,” he said. 

Hrobuchak has been going to Iron Sharpens Iron Gym in Archdale for eight years. He asked the owner, Jeff Barlow, for help in contributing to his donation drive. Hrobuchak has collected bags of supplies to ship overseas in just a few days from the gym and his church.

Hrobuchak’s main concern is getting supplies to Ukraine and money for fuel for his family. While borders are still open, the shipment will only make it to Europe. His family will have to drive more than 14 hours to reach the supplies being shipped. 

“They’re willing to do it and as long as the borders stay open, we’re able to do this. We’re able to save lives,” he said.

Hrobuchak says Iron Sharpens Iron, at 10134 N. Main St. in Archdale, is still accepting donations of protein bars, first aid supplies, bandages, medical gloves, baby formula, toiletries and more.

He and his friends launched a GoFundMe to benefit his cousins and the people in their village. Click here to learn more.

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